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How ISO 50001 certification helps Kruger make long-term savings

Kruger Products staff members with the New Westminster plant's ISO 50001 certification
Kruger Products' New Westminster plant worked with BC Hydro, Natural Resources Canada and EPS to develop an ongoing energy management plan and gain ISO 50001 certification.

Ambitious energy goals for 2030

Founded in Montréal in 1904, Kruger Products Inc. is a privately held, family company with a solid reputation in pulp and paper, containerboard, tissue products and eco-friendly packaging. With production facilities across Canada and the USA, they also own and operate 42 green energy power plants. Their tissue products division, Kruger Products is the largest in Canada's, producing well-known household brands including Purex® bathroom tissue, Scotties® facial tissue, SpongeTowels® paper towels and Bonterra™ sustainability-focused tissue products.

Kruger Products was the first Canadian tissue products manufacturer to be certified by the FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®). As part of their Reimagine 2030 initiative, they've set ambitious targets, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas intensity (GHG) by 25% and reduce water consumption intensity by 50%.

The 101-year-old Kruger Products plant in New Westminster is Western Canada's only tissue paper manufacturing facility, producing about 70,000 metric tons of bathroom and facial tissue paper every year.

The value of the ISO 50001 framework

The plant was recently awarded the coveted ISO 50001 certification from ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. Gaining this certification requires a major ongoing commitment, following a framework that helps to:

  • Develop a policy for more efficient use of energy
  • Fix targets and objectives to meet the policy
  • Use data to better understand and make decisions about energy use
  • Measure the results
  • Review how well the policy works
  • Continually improve energy management

A key stakeholder in achieving the ISO 50001 certification is Regina Miller, the Industrial Energy Manager at the New Westminster plant. She joined the plant's engineering department almost 10 years ago. "I'm an electrical engineer by training and I moved into this role at the beginning of 2017."

Kruger Products' ISO 50001 certification for New Westminster has been a long time in the making: "Five years ago we did an energy management system audit and ISO 50001 gap analysis with EPS, one of our consultants," says Regina. "And we defined what we'd need to do to comply with ISO standards."

"We reviewed each significant energy user, asset by asset. We talked to operators and operations management to fully understand the process – and then we looked for opportunities. BC Hydro played a key role in subsidizing that effort with EMIS, an energy management information system."

With EMIS, Regina and her team were able to identify the key areas that needed more attention. "We moved into continual improvement mode, gathering data and looking for new energy conservation measures (ECMs). That data helps us build business cases and then track the energy savings right across the plant."

"I review weekly EMIS performance reports with our operations teams. And they have line-centric team meetings to look at each machine's performance and identify areas of improvement."

Achieving ISO 50001 status is just the beginning, though: "To hold onto our certification, we have to demonstrate energy performance improvements year over year. It's actually a great incentive, helping us to follow a very organized and structured approach to energy management at the mill. It's also a great way to find a standardized, ongoing approach across the company."

Savings that aren't to be sneezed at

So what kind of reductions has Kruger Products seen in New Westminster?

"The plant's two paper machines dry paper using a combination of steam and hot air. The steam is created from carbon neutral biomass," says Regina. "We're also putting in a brand new natural gas hood next year which will significantly reduce our natural gas consumption and associated GHG emissions by over 2,000 tCO2e/year."

The plant's steam is not made using natural gas. "Our carbon intensity is low because almost 100% of our steam is carbon-neutral sourced from a state-of-the-art Nexterra gasifying system and boiler," says Regina. "It really sets Kruger Products apart, since most other tissue paper mills still use natural gas to produce steam."

Kruger Products has been part of our Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program for well over a decade. "We've been fortunate to benefit from BC Hydro programs and incentives. They're really easy to deal with and their financial support has definitely helped our energy reductions," explains Regina. "Part of my salary is subsidized and they've been very generous subsidizing our co-op students and capital installations like LED lighting upgrades and variable frequency drives on our pumps and fans."

Regina is very happy with the improvements that ISO 50001 has led to in 2023: "We've seen very favourable energy performance this year, way above our expectations. And of course, lower energy means lower cost for the company. It's not only good for the planet, but it's good for the bottom line."

Does your facility need help reducing energy usage?

To find out more about all the ways we might be able to help your facility, contact your Key Account Manager or Regional Energy Manager, or call 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.